Clint Bowyer has a 117 point advantage and needs to finish 28th or better Saturday night in the Air Gurard 400 at Richmond International Raceway to lock up a spot in this year's Chase for the Sprint Cup field.
That may sound easy but Bowyer isn't taking anything for granted.
"With a 117-point lead, that’s a pretty good pad,” Bowyer said. “With any luck at all, we’ll be in this thing. If we’re not, it was just not meant to be.”
However, Bowyer understands that at any race on the schedule anything can - and usually does - happen.
“Anything can happen at any time," said a philosophical Bowyer. "You can get run over crossing the street. That’s what I tell people every time I get on my Harley and they whine about riding a motorcycle. I say, ‘Hey, you can die walking across the street just as easily.’”
With one race left in the regular season and ten drivers officially locked into the Chase field, Bowyer believes Saturday night's race will have its share of risks and strategic drama.
“Some teams can afford to take gambles with fuel strategy or tire-wise, strategy-wise, and that separates the race and shakes things up,” Bowyer said. “At the end of the race, you are going to see guys keep track positions and do whatever it takes to be up front to have that opportunity to win when you might not normally see that when everything is on the line.”
That includes Bowyer who considers Richmond of his favorite tracks and will do his best to get a second career win at the .75-mile speedway. He's off to a good start with a strong car in practice and a fourth-place starting position tonight.
“We’re here to win the race,” he said. “This is a fun, very important part of this sport, these short tracks, and it’s an opportunity to run well.”